Schools: Waste Not!
Remember Grandma's old saying, "Waste not, want not?" According to the U.S. EPA, Americans generated 251 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2006, 35% of which came from schools. Read on for disturbing details on how we waste, and inspiring ways schools in the Ojai Unified School District and others are working to slow the wastestream to a trickle.
Waste-Free Lunch Guidelines
Packing a waste-free lunch is easy if you follow the guidelines developed by 4th graders Zane and Isaac. Key is to talk to your child about what they will and won't eat and portion size, since food waste is often more than half of the lunch wastestream. We include other helpful links and a short video that walks you through the whole process and shows you all kinds of reusable non-plastic containers - even sandwich wraps!> Download Waste-Free Guidelines (Word doc)
> Link to Reuseit.com's 5 Steps to a Waste-Free Lunch, including a brief video and how to choose plastic-free bags, containers, and bottles.
> Kids Konserve - waste-free lunch products, practices, recipes
> Laptop Lunches - more waste-free lunch products, recipes, and more
Ojai's Wastestream Team
Read the "Edible Ojai" magazine article by Deborah Moore on Ojai Unified's waste reduction efforts: "The New Learning Curve: Four Rs, Not Three"
Food Waste in the Face of Hunger
Did you know that Americans waste an astonishing 27% of our available food, contributing to the global food crisis, global warming from methane emissions, and profligate energy use? According to the US Dept. of Agriculture, saving just 5% of the wasted food could feed 4 million people per day! Unfortunately, literally millions of tons of taxpayer-subsidized school lunches are sent to the landfill. Read two articles about food waste and what you can do that will save money, energy, and pollution:
Here's something you and your students can do right now to reduce your school's wastestream: Terracycle, the "world's first company to make everything out of trash," will pay you 2 cents for used wrappers and drink pouches so they can make cool products out of your garbage. You can read more about Terracyle in the New York Times article below, then surf over to their website to find out how your school can earn money while recycling: